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Very Good, But Should've Been A Double Set
on December 9, 2003
Imagine all the whoops, yells, and yee-hays from Steely Dan fans everywhere when they heard in 1995 that Walter Becker & Donald Fagen were putting out, at long last, a new Dan release. Now imagine all the groans from said fans when the new CD simply turned out to be a live album, not a brand-new studio offering (we would have to wait another five years until 2000's "Two Against Nature"). As it is, 1995's "Alive In America" is certainly a very good live set from Steely Dan, as Walt, Don, and their ace backup band deliver some very strong, faithful renditions of Steely Dan classics such as "Green Earrings," "Reelin' In The Years," "Josie," "Kid Charlemagne," and "Aja." The performances ARE great. The problem is, the CD is too darn short. I saw Steely Dan on their '93 reunion tour, from which some of these live tracks come from, and, at only 67 minutes, with just 11 tracks, "Alive In America" only represents about half of the concert. You're totally left hungry for more. Had this live set been a double CD, with the *complete* concert on it, then it would've been something truly special. I sincerely hope that Walt & Don will release a more expansive live set from their recent, outstanding "Everything Must Go" tour. Until then, "Alive In America" certainly makes for a nice little souvenir from Steely Dan's '93-'94 tours, but it could've been so much more.